Supreme Court of Canada - Positive signs for a marriage victory

 

 

Property Rights Case

Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. Walsh (English decision)

Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. Walsh (French decision)

 

 

 

Link your web site to ours with one of our animated links.
Help spread the word

 

 

 

 

Book Banning Case

Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36 (English decision)

Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36 (French decision)

 

 

 

 

 

Link to our coverage of the Queen's Jubilee Medal being awarded to James Chamerlain (Surrey book banning case)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

External link to McGowan Elliott and Kim

 

 

 

 

 


"(The plaintiffs will) get their day in court a lot faster than they would have otherwise and they'll have a chance of getting their pension benefit when they're still alive."
Douglas Elliott, Canadian Press, Dec. 6, 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to the Justice Minister's alternate realities for marriage - through the looking glass.

 

 

 

External link to information about the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to Dr. Robert Wintemute's University of Toronto lecture about religion vs. sexual orientation
Read the Wintemute lecture

"Religious doctrines must be deemed absolutely irrelevant in determining the content of secular laws ... Does public funding for Roman Catholic or other anti-LGBT religious schools constitute financial support for sexual orientation discrimination, analogous to financial support for racial discrimination?"

 

 

Catholic Church
Targets Paraplegics Too

Catholic leaders are not only against gays and lesbians having the right to marriage. They also want to exclude paraplegics from marriage too. See:

Forbidden Wedding - the story of a paraplegic man in Brazil who was forbidden to marry because the Catholic Church suspected that he was sexually impotent.

 

 

 

 

 

Our universal and indivisible human right - equal marriage for same-sex couples - A message t o our partners in New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read our report about the Atlantic tour in support of equal marriage - November 3 to 8
Read our report of the tour

 

 

 

 

Support For Equal Marriage

Atlantic Provinces: 45% support

Newfoundland: 48% support

Nova Scotia: 45% support

P.E.I.: 43% support

New Brunswick: 43% support

 

 

 

Link to our Just Married tour intinerary
Just Married - The Tour

 

 

 

 

Link to learn more about how you can help pay the legal expenses for any of the marriage cases underway in Canada.  Get engaged !

 

 

 

 


"We do not deserve your ignorance and prejudice.
We deserve equal rights."

 

 

 

 

 

Please support
the Alternative Moms In Peel

Contact MP John Bryden about his comments.

 

Read a constituent's response in September's mail

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Federation of Students - A call for equal marriage now.

 

True leadership means redressing the discriminatory exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage law as quickly as posible.
Canadian Federation of Students

 

LBGT recource centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland have launched a petition in support of equal marriage.  Follow this link to the LBGT  MUN web site.

 

The decision by courts in regards to the recognition of same-sex marriages, has upset a large cohort of Canada's citizen's. In response to this, [the university's centre] would like to begin a petition which states that those who sign it "...agree with the view that same-sex marriages deserve to be legally recognized and supported in Canada ... that the federal government should accept the courts ruling in support of same-sex marriages, and should thus end their appeal of this decision."

We have created a petition on-line, and ask for your support.

Byron Rolls
Director, Internal Issues
The LBGT-MUN Resource Centre
Memorial University of Newfoundland

 

 

 

 

"That's not to say we won't do our part to protect gay rights.  But marriage is where we draw the line."  Ralph Klein, Premier , Alberta, July 18, 2002 (Link to  contact information for Mr. Klein)

 

 

 

Please write to Premier Ralph Klein in support of equal marriage.

Read letters to Premier Klein

 

 

Got That Straight?  Ralph wants YOU.  We draw the line - Alberta (Link to Mr. Klein's  online feedback form)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asha's Mums - Banned?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"These numbers are phenomenal. Gay people now believe this is within reach, which is the necessary precursor to reaching it."
Evan Wolfson
Detroit News, May 20, 2002


 

 

 

Photo by equalmarriage.ca

"Exclusion of a student from a significant occasion of school life, like the school Prom, constitutes a restriction in access to a fundamental social institution."
Justice MacKinnon
(A preview of the marriage case?)

 

 

The Marc Hall 2002 Prom Case
May 6, 2002
May 7, 2002
May 10, 2002
The Decision (extract)
May 11, 2002

 

 

Marc Hall and George Smitherman (Photo by equalmarriage.ca)
"A very significant decision for the gay community."
George Smitherman, Ontario MPP

 

 

Link to coverage of the Marc Hall case.  Photo By Kevin Bourassa, 2002

 

 

 

 

 

Link to Donations page of our site - Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us as we legalize same-sex marriage.  Subscribe to our free newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Advocacy News

Advocacy News from 2002

December 20, 2002

Two Supreme Court Decisions
Positive signs for same-sex marriage

Two Supreme Court decisions, in as many days, have been positive indicators that same-sex marriage victories will continue to accumulate in Canadian courts.

Court distinguishes between marriage and common-law

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a decision that appears to support the argument that gays and lesbians must be allowed to marry. In an 8-1 decision the court decided that only married couples have a right to a 50/50 split of property upon disolving a marriage.

"If you chose not to walk up the aisle," the Globe and Mail said, "don't expect to get half the house."

"The decision to marry or not is intensely personal and engages a complex interplay of social, political, religious and financial considerations by the individual," said the court. "People who marry can be said to freely accept mutual rights and obligations. A decision not to marry should be respected because it also stems from a conscious choice of the parties. If they have chosen not to marry, is it the state's task to impose a marriage-like regime on them retroactively?"

And what about gays and lesbians whom, at this time, only have protections afforded common-law partners? Clearly, we must share equally in the rights and obligations available to opposite-sex couples.

"The court is saying that the law is not discriminatory because people have a choice whether or not to marry.But it obviously follows that if they don't have that right to marry, then they do not have that choice, family-law expert Philip Epstein told the Globe and Mail.

Court says ban of same-sex books was wrong

" . . . the demand for tolerance cannot be interpreted as the demand to approve of another person's beliefs or practices. When we ask people to be tolerant of others, we do not ask them to abandon their personal convictions. We merely ask them to respect the rights, values and ways of being of those who may not share those convictions. The belief that others are entitled to equal respect depends, not on the belief that their values are right, but on the belief that they have a claim to equal respect regardless of whether they are right. Learning about tolerance is therefore learning that other people's entitlement to respect from us does not depend on whether their views accord with our own. Children cannot learn this unless they are exposed to views that differ from those they are taught at home."
Beverly McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

A British Columbia School Board's decision to ban books depicting same-sex parents from the classroom "was unreasonable in the context of the educational scheme laid down by the legislature," the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today (7 - 2). It said there was a clear responsibility to promote respect for diversity. Further the court found that the Board "violated the principles of secularism and tolerance".

"Instead of proceeding on the basis of respect for all types of families, the Board proceeded on an exclusionary philosophy," the decision said. Further, the Board failed to consider the relevance of the proposed material, it failed to consider the curriculum's goal, and erred in their "concerns about cognitive dissonance and age-appropriateness".

Although the Board was authorized to ban a book from classroom use, it had to act on "strictly secular and non-sectarian principles" and avoid "religious dogma or creed", according to s.76 of the School Act in B.C.

"It [s.76]does not limit in any way the freedom of parents and Board members to adhere to a religious doctrine that condemns homosexuality but it does prohibit the translation of such doctrine into policy decisions by the Board, to the extent that they reflect a denial of the validity of other points of view," the decision said.


December 6, 2002

Canada Pension Plan Class Action
Surviving same-sex spouses seek equal benefit

"It's the first time in Canadian history that a class-action lawsuit is going to be used to redress discrimination against gays and lesbians."
Lawyer Douglas Elliott, Canadian Press, Dec. 6, 2002.

The government of Canada introduced the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act (Bill C23, 2000) in response to court orders that demanded an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation. Work began on the bill in 1998, so when surviving spouses of same-sex relationships asked for their fair and equal benefit, the government claimed it only had to pay survivor benefits to the spouses of same-sex partners who died in 1998 or thereafter.

Douglas Elliott.  (Photo by: equalmarriage.ca, 2001)Not so, claims those involved in a 10,000 member class action suit involving the law firm McGowan Elliott and Kim, the same equality champions behind the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto marriage case. They have the side of the experts who agree that their rights to spousal benefits began when equality guarantees were included in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms: April 17, 1985.

Today an Ontario Superior Court Justice agreed to hear a combined case involving all provinces (except Quebec) in June 2003. However, given Douglas Elliott's record of success in human rights cases, the government may attempt to settle.

It amounts to a $400 million dollar claim for those who were denied benefits that would have otherwise been given to them if their partner had been of the opposite sex. It means more security for seniors when they need it most.

"I would like to have my day in court, but on the other hand if the settlement is favourable I'm certainly not about to put the taxpayer through all the expense for the sake of going to court," said George Hislop, a Toronto-based long-time activist and lead plaintiff in the case (Canadian Press).


November 12, 2002

The Justice Minister's
Alternate Realities for Marriage

The Canadian Liberal government's resistance to same-sex marriage has taken on Alice-in-Wonderland qualities as they continue to ignore our Charter. Last week, while we were speaking in the Maritimes, the Justice Minister released his long-awaited discussion paper. It's all in preparation for the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Read details about the paper.


October 26, 2002

Queen Elizabeth II Medal For
Work On Behalf Of Equality
For the LGBT Community

The Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been awarded to the Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, in recognition of his contribution to the LGBT community and the role he has played in improving human rights in Canada. The medal was presented to Rev. Hawkes at a reception in honour of his 25 years of service at MCCT. Reverent Hawkes married us, with our friends Anne and Elaine Vautour, gaining world-wide attention for our drive to full equality.

James Chamberlain, the BC teacher and equality advocate, will be presented a medal tomorrow to honour his tremendous ongoing contribution for LGBT equality. James is one of the petitioners involved in the Surrey book banning case, involving children's books which give visibility to same-sex parents.

Congratulations to our champions of equality! It is a sign of the times, of how far we have come, and encouragement as we continue to push forward, onwards to our full and equal rights.


October 24, 2002

Catholic Bishops Abuse the Spirituality
Of Their Faithful To Promote Bigotry

Cornwall, Ontario - Canadian Catholic bishops met this week for an annual assembly to discuss "issues". While Stephen Harper was offending Canadians with his homophobia in the House of Commons, the Catholic bishops were trying to figure out how to get fair and decent Canadians to do the same thing.

The bishops are looking at ways to encourage married Catholic couples to repeat the bigotry encoded in the doctrine of their beliefs, and speak out against same-sex marriage.

"Many people don't want to get involved in the debate because they could be perceived as being intolerant or as people who are not compassionate," Bishop Pierre Morissett told the Canadian Catholic News.

The Catholic church, despite receiving tax dollars from Canadians, is asking its faithful to act against Canada's rights and freedoms. Further, the Catholic church appears to condone violence against gays who try to enjoy the same rights as other citizens:

When civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase."
Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons

The Bishops are brainstorming on how to fire up their faithful. Archbishop Exner of Vancouver is organizing "a massive letter writing campaign", according to the Catholic News, and Ontario bishops are working on a document that will ask Catholics to lobby members of Parliament.

Religious hostility against LGBT people has no place in the public sphere (keep it in church or at home if one must). We are not asking the Catholic Church to drop its dogma, even though Vatican beliefs translate into bigotry in Canada. We only ask the Pope not to impose his doctrine of prejudice on our country and politicians. Canada is not a church-state. The world has seen how religious leaders can inspire their faithful to commit atrocities against others. Canadians must reject the prejudice and bigotry of the bishop of Rome and his collaborators, the Catholic bishops. They surely do not represent the majority of Catholic Canadians who have also rejected Vatican positions on birth control and divorce.


October 2, 2002

Claiming Our Universal Rights
A message to New Zealand

In the four months since the publication of Just Married, we have been introduced to some of the best jurists, lawyers, and advocates from around the world. Many had gathered at a conference in Turin where we learned of the work underway to bring equality to the global LGBT community.

Among the presenters was Nigel Christie, from our fellow commonwealth nation, New Zealand. The country's human rights legislation, like Canada, is the foundation for their argument for equal marriage. Nigel's work with LeGaLE is similar to what has been done in Canada through EGALE - legal equality. So it was with pleasure that we accepted an opportunity to send greetings to the couples and advocates who are working for equal marriage in New Zealand:

Lesbian and Gay Legal Equality - October 2002 Newsletter


October 1, 2002 (Updated Nov. 12)

Equal Marriage Advocacy Tour
in Atlantic Provinces

One thing I would have to admire is the tenacity of you people. However, the poles (sic) did indicate that we donít want what you do here in the Atlantic provinces by a majority. However, by all means donít let that stop you because your kind do not know the meaning of give up! If you want that kind of lifestyle keep it, but donít ask us to help you by condoning it. An entire city was once destroyed for the same thing. Check your history.

Lorie Tracey October 23, 2002 (an email to our website)

A poll released last month indicated fewer than half of Atlantic Canadians support the legalization of same-sex marriages. More than 1,500 people responded to a Telegram (Newfoundland)/Corporate Research Associates survey between August 14 and August 28 ( "accurate to within 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20").

On average, 45% of people in the Atlantic provinces support same-sex marriage. Newfoundland showed the strongest support (48%), while New Brunswick shared the lowest support for same-sex marriage with Prince Edward Island (43%).

In an effort to strengthen support for equal marriage in Atlantic Canada, and in preparation for parliamentary hearings on the subject, we visited the region. The idea, and initial contacts came from our friend Bruce E. Walker. The trip was produced by Richard Blaquiere with an incredible team of volunteers and supporters in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Together, they organized 8 events (most were open to the public) at universities in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. We also ventured off-campus to meet with community activists and faith communities.

Our schedule included:

November 3 - 4, 2002 - Frederiction, New Brunswick
Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton
St. Thomas University
University of New Brunswick Law School

November 5, 2002 - Saint John, New Brunswick
University of New Brunswick

November 6 - 7, 2002 - Sackville, New Brunswick
Mount Allison University

November 7-9, 2002 - Halifax, Nova Scotia
DalOUT - Dalhousie University
Mount Saint Vincent University
Dalhousie Law School
Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project
Venus Envy

Read our report from the Maritime tour.

When we were married, we said we wouldn't take a honeymoon until our record of marriage was registered. Still, as we work for justice, our Just Married tour, has taken us far away from home. It total, we have been to 7 Canadian cities with plans to work in 4 more next month. Last spring we were in Turin, Italy, and this fall we were on the wooded campus of the University of New Hampshire. Sometimes we have been guests, but most times we have paid our own way, happy to have an opportunity to contribute to change. Our various advocacy tools (web site, book, tust account, and public appearances) have unique purposes, but they are all aligned towards one common goal: equality.

We hope you will join us, in any way you can, on this journey.

Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell


September 25, 2002

Liberal M.P. Promotes Discrimination
Against Same-Sex Parents
Alternative Moms in Peel Respond

Liberal party member of parliament John Bryden (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot) released a "Summer 2002" report that has drawn sharp criticism and a call for action by the Alternative Moms in Peel Region.

In a venemous and hateful tirade titled "Rights of children ignored" Bryden calls the Ontario court decision in favour of equality of same-sex couples "scandalous" and "a slap in the face to Parliament".

"It suggests," writes Bryden, "the court thinks MPs are ignorant of human rights."

Or MPs are simply willing to ignore our human rights and Charter?

Bryden is worried that same-sex relationships in adoption and child custody situations will have an equal footing with opposite-sex relationships.

"I am not prepared to accept that it makes no difference to a child whether his parents are same-sex or opposite-sex," Bryden declares. "The judges have failed to consider the rights of the child."

"No sir," begins a response from Renee King and Leslie Forrester (founders of Alternative Moms in Peel Region). In a September 24 email sent to Bryden, the Prime Minister, and other MPs in the area west of Toronto, the pair point out that an "experienced and educated individual will interview both parents in addition to their family, friends, and child(ren)" before making recommendations that "do not take irrelevant issues such as sexual orientation into consideration."

The Moms listed the relevant issue for the MP: "Are the child's needs being met? Does the child have adequate food/clothing/shelter? Is the child happy? Is the child healthy? Does the child have a close bond to the parent? Is the parent/child relationship warm and loving? Does the parent make decisions that prioritize the needs/rights of the child? Is the parent meeting all special health requirements of the child? Is the child living in a safe environment free from abuse?"

The letter was sent to other MPs in the area west of Toronto in hope of isolating Bryden's bigotry and obtaining support from other MPs in their effort to "educate Mr. John Bryden" on this matter.

"We do not deserve your ignorance and prejudice," King and Forrester wrote to Bryden. "We deserve equal rights. We demand your respect."

Link to our media coverage of related issues.


August 8, 2002

Canadian Federation of Students
Calls on Government to
End Marriage Discrimination

The Canadian Federation of Students have joined others calling on the goverment to stop its fight against equality now.

"If Canadians are truly the pluralist nation that we like to say we are, then we must be sure that we include all people to create communities based on justice, respect, and dignity," a fax-memo reads with a heading "Do what's right."

"An act of commitment by any two people to the long-term support and nurture of each other, and the family they create, can only build a stronger and more caring society."


August 6, 2002

Memorial Universityof Newfoundland
Launches Initiative In Support of
Equal Marriage

During our visit to Vancouver Pride, we saw a petition being signed by B.C. residents asking the federal government to stop the appeal of the Ontario Decision and end marriage discrimination now. A similar initiative is underway at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Byron Rolls, Director, Internal Issues, the LBGT-Resource Centre contacted us to advise us of their support.

"The decision by courts in regards to the recognition of same-sex marriages, has upset a large cohort of Canada's citizen's," Byron wrote to us in an email. "In response to this, [the university's centre] would like to begin a petition which states that those who sign it '...agree with the view that same-sex marriages deserve to be legally recognized and supported in Canada ... that the federal government should accept the courts ruling in support of same-sex marriages, and should thus end their appeal of this decision.' We have created a petition, for now, on-line, at the following address:

http://www.petitiononline.com/lbgtmun/petition.html

"We want to make sure that these couples know that they are not alone, and that, even a little lbgt centre likes ours is willing to do what it can to help," Byron wrote.

Thank you Byron and Memorial University's LBGT resource centre. Your work is very important as we move from tolerance to acceptance. We know, from talking to a leading advocate from the Netherlands, that work like yours, in smaller communities, was key to the success of equal marriage in that country.

Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell


July 19, 2002 (updated November 10, 2004)

Alberta Premier Vows To Discriminate
"Marriage is where we draw the line."

UPDATE: Nov. 10, 2004 - Ralph Klein is posturing in today's Edmonton Journal: "We've invited the public and I'll do that right now, to send their comments on same-sex marriage ... what we've heard from the public thus far, and what I'm hearing in the streets is that they don't want it in this province ...." We look back to 2002 when we first called for letters to Klein - but this isn't a numbers game:

Alberta and Same-sex Marriage:  "Will not happen in this province"In this most-American of Canadian provinces, where religious fundamentalism has most infected politics, Premier Ralph Klein huffed and puffed over the July 12 Ontario court decision in favour of same-sex marriage. He threatened to invoke the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms' notwithstanding clause in an attempt to preserve marriage discrimination, and risk a split in the country, rather than allow gays and lesbians to marry.

The notwithstanding clause allows a province to opt out of Canada's constitution, however invoking the clause is an extreme measure and could effectively place the country's constitution in jeopardy.

"It's the only circumstance under which the notwithstanding clause would be used without a referendum," Klein was reported as saying in today's Calgary Herald. "And it [same-sex marriage] would simply not happen in this province, because the sanctity of marriage and the solemnization of marriage, under the Marriage Act, is written law, that it is between a man and a woman. That's not to say we won't do our part to protect gay rights. But marriage is where we draw the line."

In March 2000, the government passed a defence of marriage act (DOMA) similar to what has been done in parts of the U.S. The gesture is largely seen as posturing and void of any legal validity in Canada. The marriage cases now under way are expected to make such attempts void due to conflicts with our Charter.

"We've listened to Albertans," Klein said in defence of what is increasingly being seen as bigotry, "and Albertans clearly told us."

Perhaps the Premier of Alberta needs a reminder about democracy:

The concept of democracy means more than majority rule ... In my view, a democracy requires that legislators take into account the interests of majorities and minorities alike, all of whom will be affected by the decisions they make. Where the interests of a minority have been denied consideration, especially where that group has historically been the target of prejudice and discrimination, I believe that judicial intervention is warranted to correct a democratic process that has acted improperly.

IACOBUCCI J., Supreme Court of Canada
Vriend v. Alberta, 1998

Maybe Ralph wasn't listening to the right people? Please write to Premier Ralph Klein in support of equal marriage.

Phone numbers and mailing addresses for Mr. Klein are available here.

Alberta's attempted ban on same-sex marriages criticized (CBC July 16)

Link to our media coverage of related issues.


June 12, 2002

Supreme Court of Canada To Hear
Surrey Book Banning Case

This case is slated to be heard by Canada’s highest court (the Supreme Court of Canada) on June 12, 2002 and the ruling will affect all school boards across Canada (Case # 28654). It's the first case to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada that relates to homophobic discrimination, in the school system, against students and families.

Read more about this important case and how you can help


May 28, 2002

Call For Papers On Marriage

Feminism & Psychology has issued a call for submissions to their U.K. journal, for a special feature issue: For Better Or Worse? Lesbian and Gay Marriage. Deadline for submissions is October 2002.

Read more details


May 20, 2002

Marriage Top Priority for U.S. Gays & Lesbians

A poll released today, identifies marriage as the top goal of the U.S. gay rights movement. Forty-seven per cent of 1,563 American respondents listed equal marriage as their first choice as the top goal, and 83% of respondents selected it as one of the top 3 goals. Marriage was far ahead of the second place priority (16%) of equal opportunity protection in employment.

Younger respondents, people who were partnered, and lesbians were more likely to identify marriage as the top priority.


May 10, 2002

TO THE PROM!

"The idea of equality speaks to the conscience of all humanity, dignity and worth."
Justice MacKinnon, May 10, 2002

"I suspect that tonight, many of us will be dancing along with Marc and his partner in our hearts."
Sarah Rose Werner, May 10, 2002

Word arrived, shortly after 1:00 p.m. today, that Marc Hall will be going to the prom tonight! He was granted an injunction by the Superior Court of Justice, allowing him to take his boyfriend, Jean-Paul Dummond, to his prom at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic high school.

Equal Marriage For Same-sex Couples joined the Coalition For Marc Hall because of the discriminatory actions of religious groups who have worked to prevent civil same-sex marriages or religious marriages formed through the banns process (ie., the January 14, 2001 marriages at MCC Toronto). We respect religious beliefs but only so far as those beliefs do not result in actions that violate our rights and freedoms.The Coalition For Marc Hall released the following statement this afternoon:

Justice MacKinnon in siding with Marc Hall on the issue of whether he can bring his boyfriend to his high school prom, has signaled that when institutions accept public funds they accept to follow public regulation. One of the most important of these regulations is the requirement of non-discrimination (Ontario Human Rights Code & the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms).

The Coalition in Support of Marc Hall believes this ruling not only allows a kid to go to his prom without hiding (or hating) who he is. It also signals to all lesbian, gay or bisexual kids across Canada that they have a right to lead their lives with dignity and with protection against discrimination.

"Thanks to the whole Hall family for their courage and strength," said Michael Hendricks, Quebec equal marriage activist. "They must be very proud of Marc today. So are we."

"One giant step for our community", said British Columbia-based equal marriage advocates Bob Peacock & Lloyd Thornhill, in a note of appreciation.

Congratulations too, with gratitude, to Douglas Elliott and Victoria Paris of McGowan Elliott & Kim, who represented the Coalition so well in the courtroom! The coalition has made a good first step with much more work remaining.

Our hope is that this will be an opportunity for the Catholic School Board, and the Catholic Bishops to reflect upon the harm they have caused, and begin the process of reconciliation with the gay and lesbian community and their families.

Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell

Read about the Celebration!

Read Correspondence to equalmarriage.ca


April 23, 2002

National Equal Marriage Fund Established

A trust account has been established to support the marriage cases now underway in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. It is the only fund established to support legal expenses for all the marriage cases in Canada. One hundred per cent of donations will go directly to the causes supported by our trust funds. There are no administration costs - no paid staff.

The account was established by EQUAL MARRIAGE FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES and made possible by Bruce E. Walker, who will transparently manage the account on behalf of the five marriage cases it will support.

Within days of announcing the fund, Authentic Lives announced a workshop in benefit of the Equal Marriage Fund.

"Believe me, this case is extremely expensive! If the absolutely unthinkable happens, the couples stand to lose all their assets to pay for being part of the challenge".
Hedy Halpern, (Ontario marriage case)

"Now we have a central place for people who wish to help - a secure, legal and auditable way to receive contributions."
Michael Hendricks (Quebec marriage case)

Learn more about how it all works

Thanks to Jane Hamilton (BC Case), Douglas Elliott (Ontario Case), and Michael Hendricks (Québec Case) for their input.


March 13, 2002

Senator Wilson Warns of a Church-State Canada

Senator Lois Wilson became the latest Canadian Senator to speak out in favour of same-sex marriage. Wilson, who was the first woman moderator of the United Church of Canada, said"Parliament cannot choose sides in the religious debate by enforcing one religious view of marriage on all. Otherwise, we are on the path to state religion, a concept that is currently unconstitutional and morally repugnant."

Read Senator Wilson's comments about Bill S9



February 5-8, 2002

L'assemblée nationale du Québec began public hearings on the proposed civil unions bill, which would grant same-sex couples some of the rights afforded to opposite sex couples in the province

Judge Orders Equal Marriage case in Québec re-opened

Read about Day Two in Montreal

Read Michael Hendricks' summary of Day One

More on the hearings


Photo by: Tony Wong Update: January 31, 2002

Supermodel politician Enza Anderson announced that she would not be continuing in the race for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, due to lack of campaign funds, despite overwhelming support for her campaign from people across the country.

Enza's Press Release

January 2002 - Supermodel politician Enza Anderson announces her candidacy for the leadership of Canada's right-wing Canadian Alliance party. Enza intends to reform the Alliance from within, bringing thoughtful policies and 100% great legs™ to the party

Part of Enza's platform includes support for equal marriage:

Marriage and Family

As a Supermodel politician, I don't have the time in my schedule or the space in my closet for Mister Right. But when that special someone comes along, I believe that all Canadians should enjoy an equal choice of options if they wish to formalize a relationship. Those choices must include marriage for GLTs.

Forbidding same-sex couples from marrying promotes the myth that their relationships are inferior to those of opposite sex couples and it burdens the children of gays and lesbians with the stigma that they don't have 'real' parents or a 'real' family.

As the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, I will work hard to ensure that my office treats Canadians equitably and graciously and that includes responding to all wedding invitations.

More on Canada's most glam political candidate



December 7, 2001 - The Quebec Government announces its intention to introduce legislation that would create civil unions for same-sex couples in Quebec. This legislation would make Quebec the second province, after Nova Scotia, to introduce a Registered Domestic Partnership plan.

Read the latest from Quebec


November 29, 2001 - Justice Minister McClellan meets with her provincial counterparts and agrees to include gays and lesbians in Hate Crimes legislation. This comes two years after the government first promised action and was precipitated by the murder of Aaron Webster.

Read letters to the Justice Minister


Read a selection of comments from our mail.Link to our media coverage of related issues.